During my most recent trip to Chicago, I stayed at the Public, an interesting hotel and a Chicago landmark worth checking out whether you stay in one of their rooms or another place in the Windy City.
I arrived at the hotel after a harrowing taxi ride from Chicago Midway, and was glad when one of the Public valets welcomed me in one piece. Check-in was quick and they informed me I was staying in the Harry Belafonte suite. Many of the suites are named after famous guests who have stayed at the hotel or dined in the Pump Room, a storied restaurant on the first floor.
My room was large and very modern. The Public is an Ian Schrager property, and his design elements were obvious. I learned that even the beds are modeled after Ian’s own furnishings in his New York City apartment. The first room had a desk large enough to be a conference table and interesting décor; the most unique of which was a series of pictures of a cow wearing different hats.
The Pump Room, now run by Jean-Georges Vongerichten,has a long history of attracting celebrities and politicians alike. Among the black and white photos hung near the entrance after a renovation, I spotted two presidents on a wall adjacent to Don King and Chicago rapper Common. My colleagues and I sat in the bar area during our first night in town and shared a margherita flatbread, guacamole and some excellent cocktails. I enjoyed a Perfect Vesper martini and an above-the-line Pimm’s Cup.
My stay at the Public was memorable and I will surely return, if only in the hopes of bumping into someone famous over some great food and drinks!
1301 North State Parkway
Chicago, IL 60610
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